Church of FI – Guest Post from Dollar Diligence

I am pretty unfamiliar with student debt and side hustles, so I was delighted when Jacob of Dollar Diligence offered to write a guest post of his experiences paying down his student loan debt.

Jacob is a high school teacher, who destroyed $33,000 of debt in 18 months after having a money epiphany.  After a change in attitude and lifestyle, he become debt free and is working his way through various financial goals.

The clock to financial independence starts when net worth equals zero! It is easier to get to zero when you eliminate or significantly decrease your debt! A side hustle might be just the ticket.

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The Big Scratch – August 2017 Net Worth Report

I am on a mission to get rid as much crap as I can, so this month we will be having a garage sale! I have spent considerable time this summer, cleaning out the kitchen, the closets, and opening drawers that I have not opened in years. There’s no telling how much we will actually sell, but anything leftover is going straight to charity.

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The Ledger –July 2017 expense reports

We had better than average income in July due to an uptick in the art business. Mr. TJL sold a few commissioned pieces and several pieces in local galleries. Whenever we sell in a gallery, we incur fees that can be 15 – 40% of the sales price. Some of these places take quite a chunk.

We might have outgrown our hometown. A few scouting trips early next year, might reveal better opportunities to get exposure and lower commission fees! We also like the idea of participating in regional summer festivals to get sales up more!

But first, we need to fix our camper (again!).

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Church of FI- Podcasts and July 2017 expense reports

I found a few new blogs to add to the Church of FI this month. I continue to be on the lookout for other blogs that share monthly expenses. Please leave any suggestions in the comments.

Millennial Revolution published a great post on spending habits and reducing “green and yellow” zone spending to increase overall happiness. I could not agree with them more. I personally went through a decluttering of my expenses over two years ago and since have watch my net worth double! This is such a powerful exercise, everyone should try to get down to optimum spending and ideal happiness levels. Stress corrodes your life! The number one stressor? Money problems. Take control now.

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Kid’s Ledger – Developing Financial Intelligence (and basic competence, dammit!)

“Ugh, not another one of these.”

This past year in school, Little Miss learned about commerce. She became particularly interested in marketplaces and started making all sorts of crap to sell.

She tried to sell us, her customer base, scraps of paper and weird little creatures made out of foam paper called sushi monsters (love the name by the way, hated having them all over my house). Then she priced all the stuff in our house and tried to sell it back to us. Even the dog was for sale.

Dog for sale only $5!

This particular dog is always trying to find a new home anyway, so why not get a little money for it.

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The Big Scratch – Brainstorming and July 2017 Net Worth Report

These last few months have been consumed with investment property research. I would like to have a larger financial cushion in retirement. Since my independence day is fast approaching, I am considering my options to leverage debt in order to either;

  1. Decrease my expenses, or
  2. Increase my income


The first scenario was discussed in a previous post . Essentially, I could cash-out refinance my primary residence in order to build a small ADU on the property. I would long-term rent the primary house and downsize my family to 700 square feet. This would reduce my investment income needs to $1,880 per month. Sounds pretty sweet, right?

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The Ledger –Birthday! and June 2017 expense reports

June was a travel month for the Jolly Ledgers. As a result, our expenses were a bit elevated. Luckily, most of the trip was business related so the majority of our costs will be tax deductible for 2017.

Summer is a big festival time in our small town, so we tend to do a bit more eating out, although to date, we have only spent about $300 at restaurants and bars. We used to spend more than that in a month. Now, we consume and prepare most meals in-house, a habit that saves us thousands of dollars each year!

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Church of FI -Evolution and Rockstar Finance

The Church of FI is evolving. Currently, it remains a reserved space for me to babble on about current happenings in my life, share expense reports from other blogs, and share links to blogs that I love, but I have ceased to include net worth reports.

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The False Assumptions in Traditional Retirement Planning

This new item recently showed up in my 401k Dashboard:

Retirement Progress

The default settings assumed a retirement age of 65 and that I would need $11,343 per month at 100% income replacement. My bonus was not included in salary assumptions nor were my other investment and savings accounts. I took a minute to refine the entries to better reflect my actual financial position.

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The Big Scratch – June 2017 Net Worth Report

We just returned from an annual trip to Oklahoma. Every summer, Mr. TJL and Little Miss go to Oklahoma to find metal for the art business. They scour scrap yards, metal yards, antique and thrift stores, appliance stores; pretty much anywhere they can find cool pieces, cheap.

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